World Religious Travel Expo Speakers Bring Depth, Perspective on New Era of Faith Tourism
LITTLETON, Colorado (Oct. 2, 2008) – The World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) has announced two additional keynote speakers for this fall’s historic World Religious Travel Expo and Educational Conference 2008 in Orlando, Florida: the Honorable Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Minister of Tourism and Aviation, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism; and the Honorable Akel E. Biltaji, Jordan’s Ambassador-at-Large for Tourism and Special Advisor to His Majesty King Abdullah II.
The keynote speakers of the WRTA Expo reflect the diversity of today’s faith tourism industry. The Bahamas has developed itself into a top destination for this vast and lucrative market, serving as an ideal getaway for faith-based events, meetings, cruises, missionary travel, leisure vacations, and much more. And after years of building and refining the Jordan tourism product, Jordan has emerged as a multi-dimensional, affordable Holy Land destination that matches the expressed needs of faith-based travelers. From volun-tourism to adventure, educational to cultural travel, cruising to spa retreats and so much more, 21st century Christian travelers want what Jordan has to offer – so much so that Jordan has experienced record growth in tourism since 2000.
“We are honored to confirm these distinguished officials as keynote speakers,” said Kevin J. Wright, president of the World Religious Travel Association. “Both represent destinations that offer what today’s religious travelers are looking for in the ‘new era’ of faith tourism.”
Vanderpool-Wallace oversees one of the world’s most proactive tourist offices involved in faith tourism. The Bahamas has the distinction of being one of the few countries in the world with a fully-dedicated religious travel department, led by director Linville J. Johnson.
Biltaji serves as Chairman of the Tourism and Heritage Committee in the upper house of Jordan’s parliament. He also represents his country as an Ambassador-at-Large in a number of national, regional and international forums, especially those related to tourism and travel. He is a special advisor on tourism promotion, foreign direct investment and country branding, and is a former minister of tourism and antiquities, having been appointed by His Majesty the late King Hussein in March, 1997. Senator Biltaji is known to be one of Jordan’s strongest public speakers, especially on issues related to the country's image and protection of its heritage.